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Just Can’t Wait To Be King? Reigns Is Out Today

Calamitous Rex

Reigns [official site] is a game of decision-making and courtly governance that was described by Adam as Crusader Kings meets Tinder. You get presented with card after card of choices and have to swipe left or right (or in our case, click) in order to say yes or no to your courtiers’ requests. It’s also out today. I’ve just played 20 minutes of it. One of my kings was abandoned to rule over a kingdom of pigeons, another was slaughtered and thrown to the dogs by the merchant class, and another went mad, kicked a dog and started hearing the Devil. It’s good to be the king.

Mostly, it’s a game about balancing those four icons at the top of your screen. Religion, population, army and wealth. If any one of these meters runs out, then you are for the chop. But don’t worry. In true Crusader Kings style you simply step into the shoes of the next king when you die. The goal each time is to last longer and fulfil some tasks you’re presented with – win a duel, recruit a doctor - stuff like that. These tasks carry on from one life to the next, and recurring characters do the same, although it is possible for them to die as well. And some events, like the plague, will follow you into the next life too.

Judging from the short time I’ve poked at it, it’s a lot of fun. There’s an element of “collect everything” to it as well – 26 different possible deaths, 40 royal tasks to complete, 37 characters to meet. It’ll run out of juice before long but for £1.99 I’d milk that cow. It’s available on Steam but also those terrible devices to which we are all digital enthralled. Anyone worried about how it handles with a mouse, however, needn’t be concerned – you just click anywhere to the left of the card for negative answers and anywhere to the right of the card for positive ones. No needless holding-buttons-down and swooping as if you are playing on a phone screen. Thank the gods.

Now, if you'll excuse, I have to consult with my Devil. Advisors, I mean advisors.

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About the Author
Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell


Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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